Lacuna Coil have risen from cult status, particularly in their homeland Italy to global unit shifters. 2006’s Karmacode is largely responsible for this; it was by far their strongest output yet as well as the much larger scale touring that ensued after its release.
Though after much touring some songs can sound forced and a new album was needed quite desperately and here it is: Shallow Life. Overall it’s a decent effort from the band but doesn’t scale the same heights as Karmacode, lacking the huge tunes like “Our Truth”.
The album gets off to a patchy start with “I Survive”, though it opens with some nice heavy riffing. Second up “I Won’t Tell You” has the catchy chorus but sounds quite the same. Things pick up very little come “Not Enough”, it does little to excite any newcomer, sounding very contrived and inane. The same can be seen on “The Pain”.
With that said there are strong moments on Shallow Life, these moments found mostly in the second half of the record. “Spellbound” has Christina Scabbia’s patented wail on a huge chorus one that will certainly unite crowds for many a show to come. “Wide Awake” is another solid track, it’s a slow mover where Scabbia’s voice predominates, giving a beautiful vocal delivery. On “Unchained”, the guitars shine through at the climax of this number fitting in excellently with Scabbia’s big chorus.
The closer, the title track is quite like “Wide Awake”; it’s ballady (resorting to making up words now). However it creates a delicate culmination for Shallow Life.
The album falls down in a lot of places but has its better tracks, some which signal back to Karmacode. Scabbia is impressive as always. But Andrea Ferro still feels like a fashion accessory to the band, offering very little and there’s almost no change in the rest of the band. Its weak moments are largely due to rehashing old tunes. But when songs like “Spellbound” hit they remind you of what Lacuna Coil can do, Shallow Life plods along for the most part, it’s pretty average but will certainly raise the star!